Episode 92: It Was Originally Woof

The Overthinkers tackle listener feedback.

Matthew Wrather hosts with Natalie Baseman, Mark Lee, and Jordan Stokes to overthink listener feedback, including racial sensitivity, the Goofy Movie and the typology of cartoon dogs, the origin of anti-hipster sentiment, and scriptural elements and aesthetic considerations in Alice in Wonderland.

During the listener feedback episodes, we often remind you to make a donation to help us cover the costs of running Overthinking It. If you can’t — or even if you can — you can help us too: Fill out this listener survey. It’ll help us make the podcast self-sufficient so we won’t have to annoy you with our public-radio shakedowns month. And we’re always grateful for the kickbacks we get when you shop at Amazon or buy our awesome t-shirts (now including on OTI logo shirt!).

→ Download Episode 92 (MP3)

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16 Comments on “Episode 92: It Was Originally Woof”

  1. Linton Davies #

    ca ne marche pas!! Pourquoi!?!?! :'(


  2. Linton Davies #

    oh, ca marche maintenant! :D


  3. RiderIon #

    I haven’t listened to the podcast yet (as I’m not home from work yet and my attempts to watch the stream last night were thwarted by falling asleep). but how exactly does that Amazon referral thing work? Do I have to put in like a referral code or do I have to click on a specific link somewhere on this site? If it’s a specific link or ad on the site, I probably don’t see it because of my adblocker plug-in for Firefox. I ask because I spend quite a pretty penny on Amazon and I’d like to support OTI.


  4. Martin #

    I can’t open the MP3 or download it on iTunes. Too many redirects :(


  5. Shawn Pitre #


    Enjoyed the live stream, wanted to share with the mrs, but Cannot download the program.

    As far as I know for the Amazon thing is a click-through.


  6. Gab #

    QOD: I paused the podcast (listening to it Monday morning), went outside, ripped my clothing into shreds, tore at my face and arms with my nails, ripped out my hair, and wailed lamentations that shall echo into eternity.

    Monies: So did you manage to break even the most recent year, or did you still have to make up the balance, Wrather?

    Racism: I have Native American heritage, so I get where you’re coming from, Mark, I get it completely. Interestingly enough, though, I don’t really find Miss Silverman very funny, while I think Miss Cho is pretty amusing- but I think some of that has to do with how misogynistic the former gets at times, too, whereas I can’t recall the latter going that far.

    _A Goofy Movie_: I saw it in theaters and even had the soundtrack (I could still sing about 1/2 of every song off the top of my head…). I was fine with it, perhaps because I also watched stuff like _Darkwing Duck_ and _Tale Spin_ when I was little. I understand the “bigoted” thing, but, to play D.A. here, Max uses Goofy’s “The Perfect Cast” twice in the movie to save the day- once to rescue Goofy, and once on the stage at the concert they crash. In the latter case, it’s what makes him totally popular and get the girl in the poster, Roxanne.

    Hipsters: What you discuss about _Friends_ is exactly why I didn’t like it when it was new and, for the life of me, even when I put forth a sincere effort, I just can’t stand it today.


  7. Matthew Wrather #

    I’ve tested the download in various browsers and in my copy of iTunes and I can’t reproduce the problem with the files… If you try again do you have the same problem?

    @gab — We’re very lucky that our income has equalled our expenses up to this point in the site. That is to say: Though it took two years, we’ve made back all the money I invested in the site to date. (Though nobody gets paid for their time.)

    So now when we fundraise, we’re fundraising for the future and, we hope, to expand what we do. (And maybe to pay these writers, who entertain you with exciting new articles EVERY SINGLE DAY!)

    @riderlon — the amazon link is in the sidebar next to the donate button. (Disable your ad blocker or noscript plugin if you can’t see it.)


  8. Chris #

    Somebody made a shot for shot remake of the opening song from A Goofy Movie. I lack the computational knowledge to post a hyperlink without instructions, so here’s the link for copy and pasting: http://www.avclub.com/articles/great-job-internet-a-shotbyshot-liveaction-version,39247/

    I also saw that movie in theatres (in a mall no less. What a concept, I thought to myself) and my memories of it were also limited. The Leaning Tower line stuck with me, as well as the Grand Canyon, which was involved in some way. Upon watching the live action version of the opening number, with a small screen showing the actual movie, it struck me how many grotesque caricatures make up the characters (visually, that is).

    I hope the Arjen (presuming that’s how you spell the name) who sparked your Alice in Wonderland talk is, in fact, Arjen Robben of Bayern Munich. Good luck against Man U, Arjen!


  9. Chris #

    Oh, apparently the link hyperlinked itself. Nevermind then.


  10. RiderIon #

    RE: iPad – I didn’t think it’d blend. I stand corrected.

    RE: Goofy Movie – I didn’t see it in theaters but I remember I got A Goofy Movie for my birthday and one of my first CD purchases was the soundtrack for the film along with The Lion King soundtrack.


  11. Gab #

    Actually, the “image” from the movie that has stuck in my head the most is of Bigfoot dancing to “Stayin’ Alive,” first the finger thing and then him going all-out in the background. This is probably because I was listening to the Bee Gees before I could talk in coherent sentences, so seeing a band I was so “familiar” with in a Disney movie of all places made me excited to the point of excess as an ickle girl. And, truth be told, I still do the finger thing to this very day, although I don’t think a single person has ever put two and two together- everyone that sees me do it thinks I’m just being funny for the sake of it, and *not* because it’s to be funny *and* in homage to _A Goofy Movie_.

    If you go to about 33 seconds, you’ll get the part I’m talking about. C’mon, don’t tell me it isn’t at least a *little* funny. (Although, tragically, the person titling the bit calls it “Stay in the Light,” which kind of hurts my soul- but this one has the best quality.)




  12. Edvamp #

    Hey, I am the Ed that asked the race question. I forget what specific podcast I was listening to that made me think of Mark as ‘deflating’ Asian stereotypes so sorry about not providing a specific example.

    What made me think about the question was a lot of conversations about race in popular culture, the internet and politics considering the last election.

    I definitely agree that the humor of a statement can offset potential racism, if the intent was the humor. Old Saturday Night Live had jokes that would probably be considered racist by today’s standards, but because they are funny people let it slide, as it was obvious that the humor was the intent, not to be racist. Mel Brooks is another example.

    I think one reaction to PC culture is the ‘oppressed white man’ syndrome. Whenever something focuses on multiculturalism, feminism, any religion other than Christianity, etc. there is often a backlash. For example, every year around February you see commercials for Black History Month. I actually hear white people complaining and asking why there isn’t a White History Month. To which I reply there is: every other month. The reason some people saw a need for a Black History Month is that there is a perception that most History focuses on White US/European History. When I went to High School, out of 4 years of History class, 3 entire years was devoted to US and European History. 1 year was dedicated to African and Asian History. So 1/2 year was for the entire continent of Africa and 1/2 year was for the entire continent of Asia.

    I think it is generally good when popular culture addresses issues of race, whether with humor or drama. I was very interested to hear Mark’s comments about Margaret Cho. Assuming her act is based on actual things her mother has actually said and done, is that really racist? The Sales Genie commercial, I totally see your point, but to accurately (or only slightly exaggerating) depict things that an Asian person has said for comic effect seems, to me, to be different. She doesn’t seem to dump on Asian culture from what I remember of her act. A lot of comedians have ‘my parents say goofy things’, hers just happen to involve an Asian mother. But of course if I were Asian and watched her act again, I might think differently.


  13. lee OTI Staff #


    Re: deflating Asian stereotypes, it may have been in the context of Karate Kid and the whole “model minority” stereotype. I’ve spoken on that from time to time. For those of you unfamiliar with it, basically, it’s the idea that the whole “Asians are a model minority” thing is destructive for a variety of reasons: 1) it masks real problems that Asian minorities face, 2) it’s condescending to Asian people and minorities at large and 3) it’s coded racism against those “non-model minorities; i.e. “Why can’t Blacks and Hispanics be more like those Asians?”

    Re: Old SNL, I totally agree. I was genuinely uncomfortable when I watched John Belushi’s Samurai character play off of Asian stereotypes in a way that would definitely be considered offensive today.

    Re: Margaret Cho, I unfortunately don’t have a lot of specific gripes against her other than my visceral reaction to her Asian mom voice. To me, it strikes me like a minstrel act, that is, deliberately playing up one’s own ethnic stereotypes to a white audience. The white audience enjoys minstrel acts because they get to see the minority act out all those stereotypes that, if a white person were to do it, would be totally unacceptable. But when a black/Asian person does it on their own, har har har!!

    That being said, I’m sure Cho is keenly aware of race issues; I’m not saying she’s so naive as to think that her act is innocuous or without controversy. I just don’t think that at the end of the day she’s helping move the ball forward.


  14. Gab #

    @Edvamp: I totally agree about the ridiculousness of the backlash by those in power when those that aren’t try to assert themselves. Rock on. (I’m going to stop now, since this isn’t a political forum, and… well… yeah.)

    @Lee: Is there a specific line you think a comedian/enne should avoid crossing when sort of “playing up,” if you will, certain stereotypes? Any, not just racial. Or is it another one of those “I know it when I see it” situations? For example, some people find Larry the Cable Guy’s “redneck” humor *extremely* offensive because they feel he perpetuates the “po’ white trash” mythology. But others, even people that very well could be considered “po’ white trash,” think he’s hilarious, just as anyone that isn’t may.

    I know I’m rambling, but I guess I feel the problem with defining “offensive” is that it’s one of those adjectives that has such a subjective definition (in order for it to have any real meaning, anyway). It’s deeply personal, and thus a very case-by-case and person-by-person thing. There will never really be a true, global consensus about it. You can narrow it down to a list of criteria, like how in order to be a sandwich, it must contain these things (ahem), but ultimately, whether the components even fit that criteria will have at least a little personal bias.

    And there are lots of other things like this. What makes something “good” (or “bad”), what makes something art (or bull****), etc. Again, you can make a list of criteria, but even what that list should contain is debatable, to an extent.

    So maybe I pretty much answered for you, but yeah.


  15. mlawski OTI Staff #

    @Edvamp: Half a year for Africa? You must have gone to a good school. I don’t remember exactly, but my school must have spent two weeks or so on Africa. Well, unless you count Ancient Egypt, I guess. Come to think of it, I don’t remember reading one book by a POC in any of our English classes after ninth grade, either. I remember doing a couple of days on Langston Hughes (probably during Black History Month), but that was it…


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